The OAD Clinic offers bespoke treatment options for substance misuse and other problems, led by some of the most experienced addiction specialists in the country. Dr Arun Bhaskar, a pain specialist, supports patients to manage their pain effectively and enable them to reduce or taper off their existing medicines and improve their quality of life.
This year, he says, has been very eventful as he took over as president of the British Pain Society. ‘It’s a responsibility and challenge. I’m looking forward to bringing in new advances in pain medicine as part of personalised medical care,’ says Bhaskar. ‘I’m also keen on raising awareness of chronic pain – promoting good pain management does not always require large doses of painkillers.’
Bhaskar graduated from the University of Kerala’s medical school, India. He completed his specialist training at the north-west deanery, UK in 2006 and started his consultant career at the Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester. In addition to Royal College fellowships in anaesthesia, pain medicine and intensive care, he also has a fellowship in interventional pain practice. He has special interests in complex pain, including neuropathic, cancer, visceral and pelvic pain, pain interventions and neuromodulation.
He cautions against the overuse of opioids. ‘Indiscriminate use of opioids has resulted in serious issues of misuse and some pharmaceutical companies have been heavily fined by the courts in the US,’ Bhaskar tells Spear’s. ‘The government has removed cannabis as a schedule 1 drug to facilitate its use for managing a few conditions including chronic pain and fibromyalgia’. Having experienced clinical trials with medical cannabis, Bhaskar believes it ‘certainly has a role in the management of chronic pain’.
Bhaskar says, ‘I treat all my patients as I would treat Her Majesty.’ His patients are often highly motivated and successful people in their business or professionals who are at the top of their career, yet who are finding persistent pain or substance abuse (or both) is interfering with their work and reducing quality of life to self and loved ones. He also has a specific interest in opioid management in complicated cancer pain, as well as opioid dependence and its management in the pain patient population. He has been involved with several clinical trials in cancer pain and neuropathic pain in cancer, including chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, and is involved in developing novel techniques for interventional treatment of pain including intractable cancer pain.